RENO COUNTY — A Kansas man accused of setting fire to his home on July 4, appeared via video from the Reno County Correctional Facility Friday for the formal reading of charges.
Kerry Getz, 64, rural Reno County, now faces two cases, including one where he’s charged with arson for setting fire to his home in the 5000 block of Nickerson Boulevard.
He’s also charged with interference with law enforcement for blocking access to the property. Fire crews had trouble reaching the home at the time of the call because his truck was parked in the way.
When law enforcement made contact with Getz, he appeared intoxicated and smelled of gasoline.
In a separate case, he’s charged with three counts of criminal threat, including two against his ex-wife. In one case, he apparently threatened to shoot her in the head. That was on May 22, according to court testimony.
In another threat, he told another person that he would “gut her like a pig because she didn’t keep her vows.” He also threatened to go to church and slit the throat of a Hutchinson man. Both of those threats occurred on July 8.
In court, his wife told Magistrate Judge Cheryl Allen she’s afraid of him because of his erratic behavior. She says he had threatened in the past to burn the house down and finally did.
The state asked that the bonds in both cases be raised, calling him a danger to the community. Judge Allen agreed to double the total bonds from $15,000 to $30,000.
In July of 2016, Getz entered a plea to a single count of making a criminal threat and was granted one year of probation after he chased a sub-contracted employee of Westar Energy who was at the home replacing an electrical meter.
Getz had been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery causing reckless bodily harm and criminal damage to property. However, as part of a plea agreement, the state dropped all the other charges.